(Copyright 1998. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

April 27, 1998

Tough health inspections bring cafeteria improvements

By COURTNEY PENDLETON
The Tattoo

To make sure he would get the money to replace
old kitchen equipment, the man in charge of city
school cafeterias asked a health inspector to
write up plenty of violations last year.

"I needed some things repaired and I couldn't
get them repaired," said Greg Boulanger,
director of food service. "The inspector can be
your best friend when you need things repaired."

After hard-hitting inspection reports last year,
school officials approved spending more than
$750,000 on the two high school cafeterias for
new ceiling tiles, new hand-washing sinks, new
exhaust fans and more.

The work would be carried out as part of a two-
year, $40 million overhaul of both high schools
that should be completed by the fall of 1999.
Much of the project is aimed at bringing the
schools up to current building codes.

In September, The Tattoo published a review of
health department inspections conducted during
the past five years at city high schools. It
discovered numerous small problems, including
some
that linger year after year without officials
correcting them.

In fact, when Bristol Eastern High School and
Bristol Central High School were inspected last
April, each had violations severe enough that
the health department could have shut them down.

After years of pulling scores in the 90s,
Eastern last year scored an 81 of a possible 100
points while Central rated just a 72.

When the schools were reinspected in November,
Eastern nabbed a 91 and Central grabbed a 95
rating.

St. Paul Catholic High School, whose cafeteria
hadn't been inspected for more than two years,
has had two inspections since The Tattoo
inquired about its ratings. It got a 100 on the
most recent report.

Head sanitarian Phyllis Amodio said last year
she was especially hard on both Central and
Eastern during her April 1997 reports because
she wanted to ensure the renovation project
would include measures to fix even relatively
minor problems.

Boulanger said that getting better equipment "is
a great advantage."

"The last place money is spent is in the
cafeteria," said Boulanger. "Phyllis helped me
in getting this money through the inspections."

He said he showed the architects designing the
renovation project the health inspection reports
as part of his mostly successful pitch for new
equipment.

Boulanger said the schools worked hard to take
care of problems cited in the inspection
reports, including the installation of a
backflow protector in Central's kitchen and
painting coolers and freezers.

But some of the items require buying new
fixtures -- which should be taken care of during
the renovation.

Two basin sinks will be replaced, Boulanger
said, by ones with three basins that allow
employees to follow smoothly the wash, rinse,
and sanitize cycle for proper cleaning of
dishes.

Part of the project aims to minimize trips to
the dumpster by installing a new machine that
will grind up styrofoam trays and other trash
into small pellets, he said.

Boulanger said he is still hoping to get
approval for a new walk-in freezer and built-in
cooling racks to hold desserts and other cold
foods for students to grab as they go through
line.


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